Seattle gives finger to 49'ers fans

They are refusing to sell tickets to the Seahawks/49’ers championship game to anyone with a California billing address. Has a stunt like this ever been pulled before?

Yes. The Broncos are limiting sales to the Patriots game to Colorado & vicinity residents.

Is this something new, or has it been happening for a while now? Is it legal to refuse to sell products to someone if they live in a certain state?

Never heard of it before. No real impact, visiting fans are going to be getting their tickets from secondary markets anyway. Don’t ticket sales like that sell out to season ticket holders first? Doesn’t speak well to the fanbase up there. It also says to me they don’t think the team can do as well without its cheering section getting a monopoly on seats.

Not new, trying to fill the stands with home town crowds. It’s been going on for at least a few years.

Talking off the top of my head, I think the state of Washington could not require the team to sell only to in-state residents, but I think the team can impose that restriction itself.

I remember seeing it even in baseball. I think it was Tampa vs. either NY or Boston and trying not to be outnumbered in their own stadium. Regular season the owners don’t mind and love have the NY & Boston [del]fans[/del]dollars but come playoff time it could look real bad.

It won’t work, either. Those tickets will find their way to the secondary markets.

It seems to me a less mean interpretation of this is that the team simply wants local, loyal fans to have a better shot at the tickets. The idea of Seahawks fans being “outnumbered” seems dubious. Seattle has plenty of football fans.

I agree it’s entirely pointless in the Internet era, of course. My best friend lives in the SF area and his family are all Niners fans. If he wants tickets, I could just buy them for him; it’s as easy as if I lived there myself.

Are you suggesting the Seahawks (or any playoff team for that matter) would have difficulty filling their stadiums? Because that’s nuts. And I don’t think the fans have any say in the ticket sales policies, apart from loving the fact they get first crack at the tickets over the out-of-towners.

Many teams wouldn’t bother restricting sales because they know their own fan bases will snatch up any available tickets right away, so any opposing team fans that manage to snag a dozen or so aren’t worth stopping.

They’re supposed to be all rabid up there for the Seahawks. It looks weak to restrict ticket sales.

It seems to be giving the local fans a better chance to buy those tickets. Those tickets are going to sell out instantly regardless of whether or not they’re being sold just to local fans.

I would think the Hotels and restaurants near the Seattle stadium would want the Seahawks to sell tickets to San Francisco fans.

Maybe 20 years ago (when it was still impossible to get Seahawks tickets) before you could get them from anywhere in the world, including SanFran, online. Now it just looks like the competition for the tickets is limited to the locals. And it’s not exactly like they’re giving them away.

Normally, yes. But professional sports leagues have different rules because they are quasi-monopolies whose status is protected by government regulation. So the government can enforce standards for a sports team that they couldn’t do for, say, a fast food chain.

There’s no reason why a team should assume its local fans would be able to “snatch up” all the tickets if they’re on the open market and anyone can purchase them.

It’s not an issue of fan support. It’s an issue of demographics. There are more people in California than there are in Washington. If they put the tickets up for sale on the open market, the majority of purchasers would be Californians even taking the travel time into account.

Keep in mind that’s just the direct sales via the Seahowks’ website or at the stadium that are being geographically limited.

I saw in the news some people are suing the NFL because only 1% of Super Bowl tickets are being sold directly to fans - the teams, people with personal seat licenses, and resellers like StubHub or TicketMaster have the other 99%. The SF-Seattle game may not be quite so tightly locked up, but it’s a safe bet that the overwhelming majority of the tickets will not be direct sales. I have no idea how big CenturyLink Field is, but right now, StubHub has about 5500 tickets available to anyone.

Yes, but that’s a silly argument. Californians in L.A., Oakland and San Diego, while numerous, presumably have minimal interest in shelling out good money for expensive tickets, airfare and hotel rooms to see a game that doesn’t involve their team and which they can watch for free on TV if they’re so inclined.

They are not specifically excluding California per se, they are limiting sales to an area including Montana to Oregon to Alaska to Alberta. Bear in mind that 62000 seats were accounted for before this sale even opened (season ticket holders), this is only 6000 tickets at stake. Nosebleed, no doubt.